Scoop goes behind the scenes at the WA Ballet Centre in Maylands to see the team prepare for the upcoming run of The Great Gatsby.

It’s a beautiful, warm night when Scoop arrives at the WA Ballet Centre in Maylands for an exclusive backstage event that will explore the rehearsal process for the company’s upcoming production of The Great Gatsby.

After a warm welcome we head upstairs where choreographer David Nixon is putting the dancers through their paces. On the way in we pass props of glasses, cigarette holders and bottles, all symbols of the hedonistic 1920s setting, lined up, carefully labelled and ready to be used at a moment’s notice.

The scene being rehearsed today is a party at Myrtle’s apartment. The dancers are poised and ready to run through it, but before they do, we’re given some background on the rehearsal process. Each dancer, David explains, creates a character with a backstory, enabling them to relate and interact with each other in a way that will make the performance authentic. A number of performers step forward and introduce themselves as these characters, explaining their relationship with Myrtle and how they feel to be at this extravagant party.

As the rehearsal gets underway, it’s clear to see why this process is so important. Ballet contains no dialogue, so all of the interaction between characters is done through movement and expression. The relationships between the characters are clearly defined, it’s easy to understand their motives and reasons for being at the party. Even without being pre-introduced to these characters, these elements of the performance still would have been apparent.

As the scene wraps up, David steps in and guides a number of the dancers through changes to steps and corrections that he wants to make. Even with the sparse set, lack of costumes and simple props, it’s easy to get a sense of the story. The choreography is stunning, combining 1920s dance styles with ballet to produce a truly unique performance. It’s extraordinary the things that dancers can do with their bodies, it looks effortless but there’s clearly a lot of skill and power involved.

Needless to say we’re eagerly anticipating opening night for The Great Gatsby. Once the costumes, props and set are added to the mix, there is little doubt that this is going to be a truly stunning production.

The Great Gatsby is at His Majesty’s Theatre from September 14-30. Find out more.

 

 

 

 

Join Our Community
@scoopdigital
You May Also Like

Related Posts

The heart-warming story behind Fully Sikh – a different perspective on Perth

Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa is changing Australia’s attitudes towards cultural identity, one show at a time. The Perth-native spoken word poet’s debut came through a moving performance that captured the nation on Australia’s Got Talent in 2016, and the young artist has since found herself sharing her personal experiences through television, live poetry and most recently, […]

Fully Sikh and Spare Parts amongst 21 winners at 2020 Performing Arts WA Awards

Western Australia’s top performers and artists were crowned in the 2020 Performing Arts WA, in a virtual awards ceremony held on Saturday May 2. The 2020 Performing Arts WA Awards are the local theatre and dance industry’s peak professional awards, and have celebrated the achievements of the arts sector for 20 years. This year’s awards […]

PICA’s popular KISS club, launchpad for local FRINGE artists, set to go ahead in September

PICA have announced the popular KISS club will be going ahead, with the live performance pinned for September.  A performance event for ideas in development, it features emerging and established artists across live and experimental arts. As well as a fun and interactive night out for art and theatre lovers, it allows audiences to peer […]